- the moral law
- the judicial law
- the ceremonial law
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Good morning, friends!
After the hard lesson yesterday, my friend who watches online in Washington, sent me this summary of the lesson. I thought she got the main points and decided to post them here for you:
The law of God has three parts:
All of it reveals the character of God. The law flows out of God's character and gives us the heart of God, what He cares about and what we are to care about.
The law shows us Jesus - it's a picture of Jesus. The law and the prophets point to Jesus.
The Pharisees had taken the heart of God out of the law, leaving legalism - they were trying to please God with only action, not heart, when God wants our hearts. They had changed the call from internal holiness (having an attitude like God) to living external rules. They thought even with a dirty heart, if you had the right actions you could please God. (No wonder they hated Jesus and were legalistic, not seeing Jesus as God because as God, Jesus is the heart of God!)
We see the tender compassion of God in the law from how the Israelites were to treat the animals of their enemies.
God wants our hearts and minds (Hosea 6:6). The Mishnah shows how far the Pharisees had strayed from the heart of God.
Jesus came to fulfill the law, since it was a picture of Him. He lived the law out. (Parts of the ceremonial law will not be fulfilled until His second coming.) Because the law is Jesus, to annul the law or to abolish the law is to do away with Jesus. The Word of God (including the law) is permanent. Jesus was establishing the permanence of His Word. The law of God does not change because the character of God and the heart of God does not change. (The penalty phase of the law will be the day of the Lord - I loved that truth.)
We don't have to live according to the law for righteousness, Jesus did that for us. We live according to the law because it is His heart and we want to please Him. The judicial law - this was for Israel, as a nation under God's leadership. When Israel rejected Jesus as their king, they rejected the judicial law and so it has been set aside for them. The judicial law will be back in place during the millennium for Israel!
We do not observe the ceremonial law because Jesus fulfilled it. Before salvation, the law reveals our sin - after salvation, the law reveals righteousness. The law now give us joy, because we have the ability to keep it. When we live by the moral law, it increases our joy because it shows we are after the heart of God!
In the story of the prodigal son, the father had the second son's actions, but not his heart. The Father wants our hearts!
What about the Sabbath? Why don't we keep the Sabbath part of the moral law? Nine of the moral laws are restated in the teaching of the New Testament, but not the Sabbath. The Sabbath (and there were more than one) were days set aside for rest. The law was a huge burden and a Sabbath was to rest from this burden. Jesus is our Sabbath, our rest! The Sabbath was also a call to holiness. Jesus is also our holiness and every day is a call to holiness for us. This is why we don't observe the Sabbath, because Jesus is keeping it for us, as our holiness.
The final point I would make about the Sabbath is this - we do not find our rest in a day. We find our rest in Jesus. This is why every day is now a sabbath of sorts - a call to holiness in Jesus Christ. The early church met on the Lord's day, which was the first day of the week - not as a day of rest, but as a day of celebration - to remember the resurrection and to celebrate the gospel of Jesus Christ...
Okay, time to start looking at what is coming next week...have a great week!